Industrial strapping, or banding materials, helps to reduce product damage, loss, and cost. Steel strapping, polyester strapping, nylon strapping, and polypropylene strapping secures containers big and small for storage and shipping. It protects inventory, strengthens stacks, and opens space. In doing so, strapping protects worker and container during shelving, loading, and transport.
Strapping Materials: Making the right choice
Industrial strapping comes in a variety of materials, sizes, and uses. Each group has advantages and disadvantages for specific applications. So, the typical industrial environment will have a number of strapping options because this is not a one type fits all situation.
Steel strapping works best to bundle and unitize heavy materials and loads. (See Signode and Cornerstone for width, break strength, weight, and price/pound.) If maximum break strength and split resistance are critical to your packaging application, steel strapping is the first choice. However, more decision-makers are opting away from steel because it lacks the stretch and recovery of polyester strapping. Steel strapping may retain tension with durability, but it has poor climate resistance. And, because steel strapping is heavy and rigid, it adds freight weight and requires special strapping tools. Steel strapping can be broken down as follows:
- Regular Duty Steel strapping is a low carbon steel for reinforcing packages, unitizing medium heavy product, and stacking product firmly.
- High Tensile Steel strapping is a heat-treated high carbon steel with high strength and shock resistant elongation. High tensile steel is the workhorse for tying down steel coils, lumber loads, and open trailer loading.
- Stainless Steel strapping adds the advantage of corrosion and rust resistance in outdoor storage or permanent/semi-permanent applications like outdoor signage, duct work, and hose clamps.
- Punched Steel strapping comes in a number of widths and punch hole configurations. The punched holes facilitate strapping and anchoring in construction, insulation, and concrete bracing.
- Zinc-coated strapping maximizes resistance to rust in all environments where climate is an issue. Available in a variety of regular and high tensile steel strapping, it has the same enhanced tension transmission characteristics as the painted and waxed strapping. Zinc finish safeguards where it is needed most-at points of surface damage and scratches.
- Painted Steel Strapping: Painted strapping is coated to offer corrosion resistance. Available in a wide array of Magnus strapping sizes, it is used in crimp-style seal systems to produce high joint strength.
- Painted and Waxed Steel Strapping: Painted and waxed strapping also provides corrosion resistance. Available in all Apex Plus and Magnus strap sizes, it can be used in notch or crimp-type seal systems. Its chief advantage is improved tension transmission around load corners. Waxed strapping is required for feedwheel-type tensioners.
Plastic strapping products reduce costs compared to steel strapping, suit more purposes, and provide recyclable remains.
- Polyester strapping costs considerably less than steel strapping. With high strength and greater retained tension, it works well with heavy loads that do not absolutely require steel strapping but need high initial tension. It applies easily manually or with fully-automatic strapping dispensers. Its highly recyclable material reduces overall cost. Companies have saved as much as 78% when they move from steel to polyester.
- Nylon strapping beats other materials with its high-tension recovery rate and versatility. It suits cold rooms, food processing, and paper and lumber processing.
- Polypropylene strapping comes in as the cheapest option and certainly fulfills its promise of strength and durability for light loads, package reinforcement, or container closure. Polypropylene strapping applies easily by hand or with semi-automatic strapping dispensers. It works best on bundling, light carton closing, and light duty unitizing applications.
- Bailing Wire remains a traditional need in agricultural projects. Annealed or galvanized, bailing wire is easily fed, bent, and hand managed.
Different strapping materials and different uses call for different application methodologies. Scissors or a sharp blade might be enough to cut or trim a cord, but any of these strapping products referenced above require equipment that will facilitate the application, minimize labor and risk, and reduce waste. In short, the various types of strapping work best and most efficiently when applied with specific tools.
Steel strapping, for example, can be tough on the hands and stressful on the muscles. Poly strapping, on the other hand, needs their own kind of cutting, strapping, and sealing tools. This does not require an exhaustive inventory of tools and machines, but everyone benefits from the availability of strapping tools specific to the strapping material and purpose.
Typically, a strapping process involves several steps:
- A strapping dispenser feeds strapping over a surface
- A pull creates tension in the strapping
- Strapping seals and/or buckles secure the strap tension
In addition, there may be need for strapping accessories that protect container edging, secure the seals, or automate the entire process. Almost all needs for most applications come in kits including tools and supplies. Additional supplies for larger strapping machines operations, including strapping bundlers, tabletops, modular, and automated strapping machines are cataloged and offered with iPack advice.
Checklist of Industrial Strapping Equipment
Power strapping machines ensure uniform strap placement and load integrity for high production applications. Strapping equipment is available in semi-automatic strapping machines and fully-automatic strapping equipment, including tabletop strapping machines and those that involve conveyor strapping. These pieces of equipment can be integrated into new or existing production lines to both maximize the productivity of your application - including those strapping applications involving bailing, bundling, carton closing and unitizing.
- Bundlers bind and seal small packages, newspapers, or magazines
- Table Top Strapping Machines offer lubricant-free operation, jam-resistant technology, automatic cut-off and re-feed options, as well as a fully accessible strap path.
- Automatic Strapping Machines integrate with conveyor belts to provide the fastest and most efficient strapping in the industry.
- Arch/Chuted Strapping Machines serve the spectrum of mailroom and distribution center needs. Once the operator positions a package, a strap wraps the item, stretches the wrap, heat seals the ends, and re-feeds for the next cycle.
- Strapping Kits contain the cutting, stretching, and sealing tools for most common portable strapping applications.
A variety of tools will load seals, tie straps, tension the tie, and seal and cut the wrap. These combination tools serve a number of strapping materials, widths, and feeds.
Strapping Concluding Thoughts
Strapping needs and their solutions are each unique. Savings comes with packaging automation: high speed, maximum efficiency, and low maintenance. Additional savings come from finding the machine, strapping material, and support tools best matched with the specific application.